To market or not to market: Taking a sensitive approach to business
As the pandemic situation continues to unfold, and show no signs of slowing down, I’ve seen many different approaches to marketing one’s own business in these trying times. For some, it’s unforgivable. Any promotional material is seen as inappropriate and downright insensitive. While other businesses are embracing (and even exploiting) this period of inevitable economic downturn.
Over the last few days, I have had a moral debate going through my head with regards to marketing my clients, as well as marketing myself during this time. For example, I work with a number of IT companies, and with remote working on the rise, this week seems like the ideal time to promote these companies services. From supporting device management to online communications tools like Zoom and Slack, organisations can benefit greatly from the services offered. Equally, I have a gin client who is considering amping up eCommerce activity so people can at least enjoy a tipple at home while social distancing.
However, is it a cheap trick to promote your services even if your services provide particular value during this time? It’s not as clear cut as you might think, and I for sure don’t know the answer.
On the one end of the spectrum, you have redundancies and temporary lay-offs left, right and centre. If your partner loses their job, you may end up as the main breadwinner for your family. Can you afford to take a step back on the hustle right now? For many business owners, the answer is no.
Yet there is something that feels a bit ‘icky’ about promoting your business in these trying times. In a world where people are dying, falling ill, losing their jobs and more, it’s hard to find a tactful way to say “I’m still here if you want to pay me to do something.” Yet earning money is more important than ever with many of us expecting to be financially affected by the inevitable economic crash that this societal standstill will bring.
And then there’s the guilt of not doing enough. I’ve offered to walk neighbours dogs and have helped the local community set-up an online registration form for “helping others”, but it still doesn’t feel like I am anywhere near achieving what I could be.
I’m keen to hear other opinions on whether it’s okay to market oneself, and one’s clients, right now? And, if so, what is the best way to go about it while remaining sensitive to the situation.
Let me know on Twitter @ContentByTheSea.